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NEWS: Green Tea 101 + Japanese Whisky Primer at Japan Society NY

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Japanese Green Tea 101: From Matcha to Sakura Sencha

Thursday, April 12, 2018, 6:30 pm, at Japan Society

From powdered matcha and whole leaf sencha to shade-grown gyokuro and roasted hojicha, the range of green teas from Japan abound in complexity, brewing practice and flavor. In this talk, demonstration and tasting Rona Tison, tea expert and Exec. Vice President of ITO EN North America, shares the fundamentals of this invigorating beverage, how to best brew and drink the teas, their health benefits, and the new trends in the world of tea. Tison also live demonstrates the delicate artistry of the Japanese tea brewing process. Joined onstage by wagashi sweets maker Tomoko Yagi, whose creations have been served at New York restaurants Soba-ya and Sakagura, the talk and demonstration will be followed by a cherry blossom-themed reception featuring tea and seasonal wagashi sweets, including nerikiri (a type of wagashi made from white bean paste and mochi). Admission: $20/$16 Japan Society members, seniors and students.



Natto: Japan’s Probiotic Superfood

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 6:30 pm, at Japan Society

Natto, a sticky concoction of fermented soybeans known for its numerous health benefits and distinctive smell and texture, is a staple in Japan. Chock-full of probiotics, this Japanese superfood is also vegan, gluten-free, and a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals. In talk and tasting microbiologist and natto maker Ann Yonetani, founder of Brooklyn-based NYrture Food, one of the only American producers of natto made locally in NYC, discusses her favorite ways to prepare natto, examines both traditional and novel culinary pairings, and breaks down the food science behind the soybean sensation. Moderated by Serious Eats' Sho Spaeth, the tasting features vegan recipes from NYrture’s natto menu, including: Natto Italiano, traditional style natto, presented Italian style; Turmeric Natto Pani Puri, served as a traditional Indian street snack of lentil crackers stuffed with spiced potatoes and onions; and Black Natto Yogurt Parfait, served with coconut milk yogurt, honey and fresh fruit. Admission: $20/$16 Japan Society members, seniors and students.


The Way of Whisky

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6:30 pm, at Japan Society

Award-winning author and whisky expert Dave Broom's journey writing The Way of Whisky (2017, Mitchell Beazley) took him to distilleries across Japan, where he uncovered how Japanese craftsmanship, customs, and nature combine to make these fine whiskies so unique. In this talk, Broom shares insights from some of the many whisky distilleries he visited throughout Japan for his book, from large distilleries like Suntory’s Yamazaki to small local producers like Chichibu. He also discusses the uniquely Japanese craftsmanship, traditions and concepts that contribute to the production and appreciation of whisky in Japan, such as washiumami, wabi-sabi, glassmaking and ice balls. Moderated by The Daily Beast’s Drink + Food editor Noah Rothbaum, the talk is followed by a book signing. Admission:  $14/$11 Japan Society members, seniors and students.

The Way of Whisky was published in October 2017, and is already considered a seminal book on Japanese whisky. Old Liquors Magazine called it "a joy to read, a book you can dip into for inspiration about Japanese culture… The synergy between culture, rituals, religion, and art also come into play, all influencing the craft of making whisky in ways only the Japanese can," and wrote, "unlike any other [book] on Japanese whisky and beautifully captures Dave’s personal journey through Japanese culture, and the country’s whisky traditions." An excerpt from the book was featured at The Daily Beast.


Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 and 7 subway at Grand Central or the E and M subway at Lexington Avenue). Tickets may be purchased in person at Japan Society, by visiting, or by calling the box office at 212-715-1258. For more information, call 212-832-1155 or visit the website.

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